Reprint as at 1 April 2014

Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006

Public Act2006 No 1
Date of assent20 March 2006
Commencementsee section 2

Note

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Justice.


Contents

1 Title

2 Commencement

Part 1
Preliminary provisions

3 Purposes

4 Fundamental obligations of lawyers

5 Fundamental obligations of conveyancing practitioners

6 Interpretation

7 Misconduct defined in relation to lawyer and incorporated law firm

8 Misconduct defined in relation to conveyancing practitioner and incorporated conveyancing firm

9 Misconduct defined in relation to provision of regulated services by employees

10 Exceptions to section 9

11 Misconduct defined in relation to employees who are not practitioners

12 Unsatisfactory conduct defined in relation to lawyers and incorporated law firms

13 Unsatisfactory conduct defined in relation to conveyancing practitioners and incorporated conveyancing firms

14 Unsatisfactory conduct defined in relation to employees who are not practitioners

15 Directors and shareholders of incorporated firms

16 Shareholders of incorporated firms

17 Liabilities of director or shareholder of incorporated firm

18 Liability of lawyer principals in respect of pecuniary loss by reason of theft

19 Liability of conveyancing practitioner principals in respect of pecuniary loss by reason of theft

20 Act to bind the Crown

Part 2
Restrictions on provision of legal services and conveyancing services

Legal services

21 Provision of legal services

22 Misleading descriptions

23 False or misleading representations in relation to supply of legal services

24 Reserved areas of work for lawyers and incorporated law firms

25 Lawyers of other jurisdictions

26 Drafting court documents

27 Exceptions to sections 21, 22, 24, and 26

28 Proceedings in respect of offences against any provision of sections 21 to 24

29 Contempt of court

30 Practice by lawyer on his or her own account

31 Exceptions to section 30

Conveyancing services

32 Provision of conveyancing services

33 Misleading descriptions

34 Proceedings in respect of offence against section 32 or section 33

35 Practice of conveyancing

36 Exceptions to sections 32, 33, and 35

37 Practice by conveyancing practitioner on his or her own account

38 Exceptions to section 37

Practising certificates

39 Issue of practising certificates

40 Effect of application for practising certificate

41 Power to refuse to issue practising certificate

42 Right to appeal

Injunctions

43 Injunctions

Appointment of agent to conduct sole practice or act as board of incorporated firm

44 Practitioners to whom Schedule 1 applies

45 Offences

Penalty

46 Penalty

Provisions not affected

47 Provisions not affected

Part 3
Admission and enrolment of barristers and solicitors

Admission of barristers and solicitors

48 Admission as barrister and solicitor

49 Qualifications

50 Evidence of qualifications

51 Evidence of suitability

52 Admission

53 Reciprocal admission

54 Rules of court as to admission

55 Fit and proper person

Roll of barristers and solicitors

56 Registrar to keep roll of barristers and solicitors

57 Enrolment

58 Striking off and restoration of names by order of Disciplinary Tribunal or High Court

59 Removal from roll if deemed registration ceases in some circumstances

60 Voluntary removal of name from roll, and restoration

61 Supply of information

62 Admission and restoration fees

Part 4
New Zealand Law Society

63 Continuation of New Zealand Law Society

64 Membership

Functions

65 Regulatory functions

66 Representative functions

Powers

67 Regulatory powers

68 Representative powers

69 Power to borrow

70 Constitution of New Zealand Law Society

71 Registration of constitution and amendments to constitution

72 Application of Legislation Act 2012 to constitution of New Zealand Law Society

73 Practising fees

74 Levies

75 Subscriptions

76 Annual report

Part 5
New Zealand Society of Conveyancers

77 Establishment of New Zealand Society of Conveyancers

78 Membership

Functions

79 Regulatory functions

80 Representative functions

Powers

81 Regulatory powers

82 Rules for registration of conveyancers

83 Fit and proper person

84 Rules relating to education

85 Representative powers

86 Power to borrow

87 Constitution of New Zealand Society of Conveyancers

88 Registration of constitution and amendments to constitution

89 Application of Legislation Act 2012 to constitution of New Zealand Society of Conveyancers

90 Practising fees

91 Levies

92 Subscriptions

93 Annual report

Part 6
Conduct of practice by practitioners

Practice rules and regulations

94 Practice rules

95 Code of professional conduct and client care

96 Practice rules in relation to nominee companies

97 Certain practice rules in relation to lawyers

98 Certain practice rules in relation to conveyancing practitioners

99 Indemnity rules

100 Consultation in relation to rules

101 Criteria in relation to approval of practice rules by Minister

102 Registration of practice rules

103 Amendment of rules

104 Power of Minister to amend rules

105 Registration of amendments to rules

106 Application of Legislation Act 2012 to rules

107 Effect of practice rules

108 Regulations in relation to practitioners

Investigations

109 Investigation of affairs of practices

Trust accounts

110 Obligation to pay money received into trust account at bank

111 Obligation to account for trust money and valuable property

112 Obligation to keep records in respect of trust accounts and valuable property

113 Protection of money received

114 Duty of practitioners to ensure that funds earn interest

115 Regulations relating to trust accounts

116 Provisions relating to regulations relating to trust accounts

Barristers and Queen's Counsel

117 Status of barristers

118 Office or rank of Queen's Counsel

118A Eligibility for appointment

118B Restrictions on practice of specified category of lawyers who hold rank

118C Queen's Counsel appointed before 1 August 2008

118D Senior Counsel appointed after 31 July 2008 and before 3 December 2012

119 Regulations relating to Queen's Counsel

119A Other ways of ceasing to hold rank

119B Style of rank if Sovereign for time being is King

119C Royal prerogative power to appoint unaffected

Part 7
Complaints and discipline

120 Purposes

Complaints service

121 Obligation to establish complaints service

122 Rules

123 Administration of complaints service

124 Functions of New Zealand Law Society in relation to complaints service

125 Functions of New Zealand Society of Conveyancers in relation to complaints service

Standards Committees

126 Lawyers Standards Committees

127 Conveyancing Practitioners Standards Committees

128 Notice to Minister

129 Membership of Standards Committees

130 Functions of Standards Committees

131 Rules relating to Standards Committees

Complaints

132 Complaints about practitioners, incorporated firms, and their employees

133 Complaint of failure to comply with order or final determination

134 Complaint to be in writing

135 Appropriate complaints service

136 Complaint by Law Society or Society of Conveyancers

137 Action on receipt of complaint

138 Decision to take no action on complaint

139 Notice of decision

140 Inquiry by Standards Committee

141 Notice to person to whom complaint or inquiry relates

142 Procedure of Standards Committee

143 Negotiation, conciliation, and mediation

144 Power to appoint investigators

145 Instrument of appointment

146 Investigations by investigators

147 Powers of investigation

148 Report to Standards Committee

149 Disclosure of report

150 Discretion in relation to contents of report

151 Evidence

152 Power of Standards Committee to determine complaint or matter

153 Hearings on the papers

154 Reference of complaint or matter to Disciplinary Tribunal

155 Application for suspension of practitioner

156 Power of Standards Committee to make orders

157 Further power to make order for payment of costs

158 Notice of determination

159 Power to notify Registrar-General of Land

160 Complaints by beneficiaries in relation to costs

161 Stay of proceedings for recovery of costs

Intervention in practice

162 Purpose

163 Circumstances justifying intervention

164 Intervention in relation to regulated trust accounts

165 Administration of funds obtained from regulated trust accounts

166 Claims in respect of money paid to Standards Committee

167 Power of Standards Committee to repay money

168 Directions relating to Fidelity Scheme

169 Power to take possession of money, property, records, and documents

170 Power in relation to postal articles and email communications

171 Offences

172 Warrant to search premises

173 Warrant to inspect bank accounts

174 Obligation to produce warrant

175 Notice of execution of warrant

176 Powers and duties of Standards Committee in relation to documents and records

177 Notification to clients of practitioner or former practitioner

178 Power to notify Registrar-General of Land

179 Notification of practitioner or former practitioner, partner, employer, or director

180 Application to High Court by practitioner, former practitioner, related person or entity, partner, employer, or director

181 Recovery of expenses of Standards Committee

182 Application of money in satisfaction of expenses

General provisions in relation to Standards Committees

183 Power to appoint committees

184 Delegation of functions and powers

185 Members, investigators, etc, not personally liable

186 Protection and privileges of witnesses

187 Privileges and immunities of counsel

188 Disclosure of information

189 Enforcement of orders

Legal Complaints Review Officer

190 Legal Complaints Review Officer

191 Criteria for appointment

192 Functions of Legal Complaints Review Officer

193 Right of review

194 Applicants in relation to complaints

195 Applicants in relation to inquiries

196 Applicants in relation to power to intervene

197 Applicants in other cases

198 Applications for review

199 Obligation to conduct review

200 Avoidance of unnecessary formality

201 Postponement for consideration of negotiation, conciliation, or mediation

Powers of Legal Complaints Review Officer

202 General powers

203 Scope of review of final determination

204 Power to obtain information

205 Power to decline to make further inquiry or investigation

Procedure

206 Proceedings of Legal Complaints Review Officer

207 Evidence

208 Disclosure of evidence and information to parties

209 Power to direct reconsideration of complaints, matters, or decisions

210 Order for payment of costs

211 Powers exercisable on review

212 Laying of charge with Disciplinary Tribunal

213 Obligation to report outcomes and recommendations

214 Adverse comment

215 Enforcement of orders for costs or expenses

Cost recovery

216 Purpose

217 Levy

218 Legal Complaints Review Officer Trust Account

219 Special circumstances levy

220 Payment of levies

221 Recovery of levy

Annual reports

222 Reports in relation to cost recovery

223 Annual report

224 Contents of annual report

225 Further provisions relating to Legal Complaints Review Officer

New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal

226 New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal

227 Functions of Disciplinary Tribunal

228 Membership of Disciplinary Tribunal

229 Disciplinary Tribunal may sit in divisions

230 Appointment of chairperson and deputy chairperson

231 Responsibilities of chairperson

232 Deputy chairperson and acting deputy chairperson

233 Appointment of other members

234 Constitution for proceedings

235 Quorum

Procedure

236 Rules of natural justice

237 Representation before Disciplinary Tribunal

238 Hearings to be in public

239 Evidence

240 Restrictions on publication

241 Charges that may be brought before Disciplinary Tribunal

242 Orders that may be made where charge proved

243 Power to refer bill of costs to Standards Committee

244 Making of order for striking off roll, cancellation of registration, or suspension from practice

245 Interim suspension from practice

246 Restoration of name to roll or register

247 Revocation of order in respect of employee

248 Consent to employ

249 Order for payment of costs

250 Rules of procedure

251 Contempt of Disciplinary Tribunal

252 Power of Disciplinary Tribunal to determine procedure

Appeals

253 Appeal against order or decision of Disciplinary Tribunal

254 Appeal to Court of Appeal on question of law

255 Order for striking off, cancellation of registration, restoration, or suspension to be filed in High Court

Miscellaneous provisions

256 Notice of order for striking off, cancellation of registration, restoration, or suspension to be published in Gazette

257 Reimbursement of costs of hearing

258 Enforcement of orders of Disciplinary Tribunal

259 Annual report

260 Further provisions relating to Disciplinary Tribunal

Offences

261 Failure to comply with summons

262 Obstruction

263 Publication

264 Liability of principal for acts of agent, etc

265 Time for filing charging document

Jurisdiction of High Court and Court of Appeal

266 Lawyer's name may be struck off on application to High Court

267 High Court may dismiss application, or reserve case for Court of Appeal

268 Inherent jurisdiction of High Court

269 Notice of order for striking off or suspension to be published in Gazette

270 Jurisdiction of High Court not limited

General provisions

271 Legal professional privilege

272 Protection of New Zealand Law Society and New Zealand Society of Conveyancers and other persons

Part 8
New Zealand Council of Legal Education

273 Continuation and renaming of Council

274 Functions

275 Powers

276 Consultation with New Zealand Law Society

277 Levies

278 Power of Council to make regulations

279 Power of Council to make rules

280 Power to appoint committees

281 Institute of Professional Legal Studies

282 Membership

283 Term of office

284 Extraordinary vacancies

285 Proceedings not affected by vacancies

286 Chairperson

287 Further provisions applying to Council

288 Annual report

Part 9
Lawyers and Conveyancers Special Fund

289 Lawyers and Conveyancers Special Fund

290 Money payable into Fund

291 Separate bank account

292 Management Committee

293 Membership of Management Committee

294 Meetings of Management Committee

295 Bank accounts

296 Investment of money

297 Audit of accounts

298 Distribution of Special Fund

299 Nominated trust accounts

300 Money required to be held in nominated trust account

301 Interest to be payable on nominated trust account

302 Banks to pay interest on nominated trust accounts to Special Fund

303 Practitioners, incorporated firms, and banks not liable to account to client for interest payable on nominated trust account

Part 10
Fidelity Funds

304 Purpose

305 Interpretation

306 Claim event

307 Lawyers to whom, and incorporated law firms to which, this Part applies

308 Conveyancing practitioners to whom, and incorporated conveyancing firms to which, this Part applies

309 Lawyers' Fidelity Fund

310 Conveyancing Practitioners' Fidelity Fund

311 Rules

312 Contributions to Lawyers' Fidelity Fund

313 Contributions to Conveyancing Practitioners' Fidelity Fund

314 Power of New Zealand Law Society to impose extraordinary levy

315 Power of New Zealand Society of Conveyancers to impose extraordinary levy

316 Contributions and levies

317 Election not to receive money or other valuable property in trust

318 Making, expiration, and revocation of election under section 317

319 Offence

320 Application of Lawyers' Fidelity Fund

321 Application of Conveyancing Practitioners' Fidelity Fund

322 No compensation in respect of money instructed to be invested

323 Advances from fidelity fund for purposes of this Part

324 Claims against fidelity fund

325 Defences to claims against fund

326 Rights of subrogation

327 Money recovered by claimants to be held in trust if rights of subrogation apply

328 Provisions applicable if fund insufficient to satisfy claims

329 Power to rule off fund

330 Consequences of rule off

331 Regulatory society may enter into contracts of insurance

332 Application of insurance money

Part 11
Miscellaneous provisions

Conditional fee agreements

333 Definitions

334 Conditional fee agreements

335 Exclusions

336 Practice rules in relation to conditional fee agreements

Unclaimed money in trust account

337 Unclaimed money in trust account

Protection of Councils of New Zealand Law Society and New Zealand Society of Conveyancers and other persons

338 Councils and members, etc, not personally liable

Regulations

339 Regulations

Amendments to Real Estate Agents Act 1976

340 Meaning of real estate agent

341 Repeal

Amendments to Land Transfer Act 1952

342 Interpretation

343 Correctness of instrument to be certified

344 Who may give certification

345 Recovery of compensation paid and costs in case of fraud

Amendments to Land Transfer (Computer Registers and Electronic Lodgement) Amendment Act 2002

346 Interpretation

347 Power to make electronic lodgement compulsory

Amendments to other enactments

348 Amendments to other enactments

Repeals

349 Repeals

Transitional provisions in respect of complaints and disciplinary proceedings

350 Prohibition on complaints and investigations under Law Practitioners Act 1982

351 Complaints about conduct before commencement of section

352 Penalty

353 Continuation of disciplinary proceedings and certain other proceedings

354 Continuation of Lay Observers

355 Exercise by Legal Complaints Review Officer of role of Lay Observer

356 Exercise by Lawyers Standards Committee of role of complaints committee

357 Exercise by Lawyers Standards Committee of role of District Disciplinary Tribunal

358 Exercise by New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal of role of New Zealand Law Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal

359 Appeal from decision of District Disciplinary Tribunal or Lawyers Standards Committee exercising powers of District Disciplinary Tribunal

360 Appeal from decision of New Zealand Law Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal or New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal

361 Revision of practitioner's bill of costs

Transitional provision relating to Law Society inspectorate

362 Law Society inspectorate

Transitional provisions relating to Solicitors' Fidelity Guarantee Fund

363 Continuation of Part 9 of Law Practitioners Act 1982

364 Money payable into Solicitors' Fidelity Guarantee Fund

365 Claims in relation to Solicitors' Fidelity Guarantee Fund

366 Public notice of last day for making claims

367 Winding up of Solicitors' Fidelity Guarantee Fund

368 Completion of determination of claim

369 Application of Solicitors' Fidelity Guarantee Fund on winding up

370 Repeal of provisions relating to Solicitors' Fidelity Guarantee Fund

Transitional provisions relating to barristers and solicitors

371 Persons deemed to have been admitted as barristers and solicitors

Transitional provisions relating to dissolution of District Law Societies

372 Continuation and dissolution of District Law Societies

373 Assets and liabilities of District Law Societies

374 Power to transfer assets of District Law Society library

375 Power of incorporated society to provide law library

376 Power to contribute to funding of law libraries

377 Members to have no right to property on dissolution of incorporated society

378 Consequential provisions in relation to assets, money, and property

379 Records relating to regulatory activities

380 Administration of solicitor's trust account

381 Solicitor's records and documents

382 Certain matters not affected by transfer of assets and liabilities

383 Employees

384 Final accounts of District Law Societies

385 References to President of District Law Society

Transitional provisions relating to New Zealand Law Society

386 Members of New Zealand Law Society

387 Officers of New Zealand Law Society

Transitional provisions relating to landbrokers

388 Rights of landbrokers

389 Repeal

Transitional provision relating to New Zealand Society of Conveyancers

390 Exercise of regulatory functions of New Zealand Society of Conveyancers

Transitional provisions relating to Disciplinary Tribunal

[Repealed]

391 Appointment of members of Disciplinary Tribunal [Repealed]

392 Quorum [Repealed]

393 Power to alter period [Repealed]

Schedule 1
Provisions requiring appointment of agent to conduct sole practice or act as board of incorporated firm

Schedule 2
Provisions applying in relation to investigations under section 109

Schedule 3
Provisions applying in relation to Legal Complaints Review Officer

Schedule 4
Provisions applying in relation to Disciplinary Tribunal

Schedule 5
Provisions applying in relation to New Zealand Council of Legal Education

Schedule 6
Enactments amended

Schedule 7
Enactments repealed

Lawyers and Conveyancers Amendment Act 2012

Reprint notes